We’re halfway through the Canada Russia Series, and like this point last year, the Russians are one win ahead after completing the WHL portion and half of the OHL loop.
ISS Hockey just releases their first list of top prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft, and the QMJHL looks poised to make a strong draft showing, with five players listed in the Top 31 and the predicted 1 and 2 goalie picks also from the Q. Saint John captain Joe Veleno is occupying the #3 spot after a career year and Memorial Cup run with the Sea Dogs
In one sense, you could say the Mississauga Steelheads and London Knights are victims of their own success. Major junior hockey is a development stream after all and they’ve each developed multiple players well enough for extended stays in the NHL this season, albeit they could still come back to the OHL.
There’s some hesitancy to read too much into the standings early on in the OHL season, and understandably so. It’s a long season and there’s a lot of good teams that don’t truly get up to speed until sometime in November, maybe even later.
It’s hard to build a sustainable contender in the OHL, but we’ve seen it done before. The London Knights have maintained that status for years thanks to shrewd asset management and drafting, often going against the grain to take a chance on talented prospects that may have slipped under the radar.
Nick Suzuki could have a big season in store. The Owen Sound Attack forward was a top-five scorer in the OHL last year leading up to the NHL Draft, where he was selected 13th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights.
The OHL preseason is now in full swing and many of the top players in the league are off to their respective NHL rookie camps. A successful run there will lead to a main camp invite, and perhaps beyond.
Ryan Merkley made a seamless transition into the OHL last season. With 55 points (12 goals and 43 assists), he led all OHL rookies in scoring, becoming the first defenceman to do so in nearly 30 years.
After a one year hiatus away from the medals, Canada returned to glory as gold medal champions at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Team Canada crushed the Czech Republic 4-1 on home ice at the Ice Bors Arena to capture their ninth championship in the last ten years.
Team Canada is heading to its ninth Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament final since 2008. Thanks in part to a goal and an assist from Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads), as well as a 24-save effort from Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs), the Canadians were able to defeat the previously unbeaten Swedes 4-1 in Friday’s semifinal.
Canada’s National Summer Under-18 Team is off to the semifinals after downing Slovakia 6-1 on Wednesday, August 9 at the Slovnaft Arena in Bratislava.
Team Canada’s outlook is a lot brighter after day two of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Thanks in large part to a 3-for-7 effort on the power play, the Canadians defeated Finland 5-1 Tuesday in their second round-robin game.
1) The New Age of Hockey Training and Development
2) Jack Hughes wins 2017 Hockey Player of the Year Award for Ontario
3) 4 Takeaways from the 2017 WHL Cup
4) Kids Share Love of Hockey with Taste of Fame at 2017 BT Hockey Classic
5) Team Canada Roster Named for 2017 Women’s Worlds